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Liverpool's Sadio Mane back in top form, while Chelsea simply didn't turn up

The Exploding Heads round up the Premier League action from the weekend, neatly packaged in 90 seconds (plus stoppages).

Rounding up the best and worst of the weekend action in the Premier League.

Goal of the weekend

Mo Salah quite correctly got plenty of praise after scoring his 32nd goal of the season, and a terrific performance by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drew deserved attention. But perhaps the most encouraging thing for Liverpool was Sadio Mane's terrific goal, a flowing team move finished off by a player who for spells this season hasn't been the force he was last term. He's now scored five goals in his last three games: With him, Salah and Roberto Firmino all firing, they truly are a terrifying force.

Pass of the weekend

Seeing Harry Kane play the sort of astonishing, unstoppable pass that set up Son Heung-Min's second goal in Tottenham's 2-0 win over Huddersfield is a bit like finding out Daniel Day-Lewis is really good on the piano too. Apparently being the best goal scorer in the world isn't enough for Kane; he's capable of creating goals for others from nothing too.

Non-performance of the weekend

Maybe this is more of a comment on how far Manchester City are ahead of everyone else, but there was an overwhelming sense of the routine about their win over Chelsea on Sunday. So much so that it was incredibly easy to forget they were playing last season's champions.

Man City's win unveiled a lack of passion on the part of Chelsea.

Antonio Conte's point after the game that he didn't want his team to get thrashed, thus explaining his defensive approach, was fine in theory. But for a team with Chelsea's resources, choosing to play so passively, with so little ambition, surely it's barely worth them showing up at all. Just forfeit the match, take a 3-0 default defeat and save everyone the effort of watching.

City now require 12 more points to confirm their inevitable title. If all their opponents play like Chelsea, they'll do it without breaking a sweat.

Worrying trend of the weekend

When David Moyes took over West Ham, most regarded it as a foolish appointment. A stout performance against Manchester City and win over Chelsea suggested the portents of doom might have been wrong, but now they just look a shade early.

West Ham have lost four in five games, the last two 4-1: you can forgive going down by that score to Liverpool, as they did last time out. But Swansea? The capitulation in Wales has left the Hammers three points clear of the relegation zone and their form trending only one way. Avoiding the drop will be a scramble involving half a dozen teams, and the Hammers will certainly be one of them.

'Date for your diary' of the weekend

For those Tottenham fans who enjoy an ice-cold revenge dish, it's worth making a note of April 14. That's the first day that Mauricio Pochettino's side can confirm they will finish above Arsenal this season, and that's assuming Arsenal win all their games in the interim.

On a more practical level, it means that Arsenal are 13 points behind fourth place with nine games remaining, and effectively certain to miss out on Champions League qualification through the Premier League. Their remaining hope is winning the Europa League, but would you back them to beat Milan on Thursday, having lost four matches in a row for the first time in 16 years?

Arsene Wenger once said, when asked about retirement, that Alex Ferguson "has his horses -- I don't have horses." The kindest thing to do at this stage is buy him a copy of the Racing Post and a ticket to Ascot.

Low-key success of the weekend

Almost everything about Chris Hughton is low-key. From his amiable personality, his interviews and even the way he remonstrates with officials on the touchline, there's little demonstrative about him.

But he is a fine manager, and having dragged Brighton from the lower reaches of the Championship in early 2015 to the top flight for the first time since 1983, he has now almost certainly secured another season of Premier League football.

Decision of the weekend

There weren't too many who were doing cartwheels and predicting a rapid turnaround when Alan Pardew was appointed West Brom manager, but nobody thought it would be this bad.

Saturday's defeat to Watford now puts Baggies owner Guochuan Lai in an interesting position: relegation now looks inevitable, given they finished the weekend eight points shy of safety, and it might be nine depending on Crystal Palace's result against Manchester United on Monday. Thus, arguably the only real point in sacking Pardew now is to either placate the fans who sang "Alan Pardew, get out of our club," or to set next season in the Championship up.

The former sets a slightly iffy precedent, the latter would be an admission the season is over.

Buyer's regret of the weekend

Before Everton's visit this weekend, Burnley hadn't won a game since the middle of December. But the 2-1 victory for Sean Dyche's side, might have provided a stinging reminder to the Toffees board that, when Ronald Koeman was sacked in October, they could have made a mistake by going for the "safe hands" of Sam Allardyce, rather than Dyche.

Of course, Dyche might not have been interested, but it's hard to imagine that, had he moved to Goodison Park, him being roundly booed by his own fans less than six months after taking over, as Allardyce was. "They won't believe this," said Allardyce, about those fans, "but I feel worse than them." You're right Sam, they won't believe it.

Nick Miller is a writer for ESPN FC, covering Premier League and European football. Follow him on Twitter @NickMiller79.


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